May 16, 2013 in Sports

Strong finish

Comes overcomes 5-shot hole
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Colin Mulvany photoBuy this photo

First-round leader Eric Ansett of Ferris chips out of a sand trap at Qualchan GC.
(Full-size photo)

Ferris sophomore golfer Tanner Comes set his sights on second place. He’ll just have to settle for winning the District 8 4A Tournament championship.

Comes, trailing teammate Eric Ansett by five shots entering Wednesday’s round at Qualchan, finished with three straight birdies for a 3-under 69 and a two-round total of 143. Ansett, the Greater Spokane League player of the year, had a rare off day and finished three shots back after shooting a 77.

“Honestly, I was playing for second,” Comes said. “I thought if I posted a decent number I’d have a chance but I was not thinking about the lead.”

That changed on the back nine when it got crowded at the top of the leaderboard. Comes birdied 13, 16, 17 and 18 to complete his best competitive round at Qualchan. His previous best was 71.

Lewis and Clark sophomore Sierra Kersten won the girls’ title. She followed up a 71 at Indian Canyon with an 80 at Qualchan. She won by seven shots over Mead sophomore Lydia Kim, who had the low score of the day with a 78. Gonzaga Prep freshman Kelly Hooper shot an 80 to place third.

Comes buried a 20-footer for birdie on No. 1 and his putter stayed hot. He made birdie from 10 feet on 13, a two-putt birdie on 16 and drained a 15-footer on 17. He pushed his drive way right on the par-5 18th and had a few trees in his path to the green. Central Valley’s Mark Beck, trailing by one shot, appeared to be in great shape with the longest drive of the foursome.

Comes drilled a 3-wood over the trees and right on line with the pin, stopping 45 feet short. He two-putted for birdie.

“I hit it pretty pure,” he said. “I was really worried about those trees. Under the circumstances, it was a very good shot.”

Beck’s drive unfortunately settled in a divot and his second shot found the hazard. He finished with a double bogey, but still managed a 74 and placed third.

“I could only see the top half of the ball,” Beck said. “My ball striking all day was amazing and I made a lot of clutch par putts.”

The top three will be joined at state by Ferris’ Parker Ruehl (74-148), Gonzaga Prep’s Michael Brutocao (78-151) and Lewis and Clark’s Carson Fuhs (75-155). Fuhs won a three-way playoff for the final spot.

Kersten, the GSL player of the year, had 42 on the front side, 38 on the back.

“It was very rough on the front,” said Kersten, who lost to teammate Megan Haase in a playoff for the district title last year. “The back side was a little better. I turned it around.”

Joining Kersten, Kim and Hooper at state next week in the Vancouver area will be Gonzaga Prep’s Lindsey Dotson (84-165), Ferris’ Nicole Berg (86-168) and Mead’s Maddy Underwood.

Entering Wednesday’s round, seven players were within two shots in the battle for the sixth and final spot. Underwood, who uses a cart after having ankle surgery earlier this spring, took the spot with an 88.

“She’s a senior and she missed her sophomore year with a broken thumb,” Mead coach Keith Ross said. “She has played in a walking boot, an air cast. Just to see the ebbs and flows of her seasons the last four years, I’m so proud of her.”

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